Members of a ‘particular community’ disconnect Temple’s electricity supply to stop its loudspeaker

Yet another incident of ‘communal tension’ around Janmashtami celebrations — where one particular community has not liked the events around the celebrations — has come to light from Uttar Pradesh.

We had earlier reported how people belonging to a ‘particular community’ (media reports didn’t identify the assaulters) had attacked a Janmashtami procession in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district last week. This attack, which included stone pelting on the procession, had resulted in injuries to various people including policemen.

A similar incident was reported from the Gaura Sailak village in the Barabanki district of the state a couple of days later. In this village, a Muslim mob pelted stones at a ‘shobha yatra’ (procession) when it reached near a Mosque.

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Now a third incident has been reported from the state within a week. Media reports mention that members belonging to a ‘particular community’ (not named again) cut off electricity supply to a Temple, after demanding removal of a loudspeaker mounted on the temple. The confrontation reportedly happened at Manakpur village in UP’s Budaun district, from where the first incident was reported.

According to media reports, a Temple in the village was being decorated for the festival of Janmashtami, and as part of that, a loudspeaker too was installed atop it. This wasn’t appreciated by some members belonging to a ‘particular community’, who in order to ‘silence’ the loudspeaker, are reported to have forcibly cut off the electricity supply.

While Dainik Jagran report suggests that this resulted in disconnection of electricity in a wider area inhabited by Hindus, the Amar Ujala report suggests that only the Temple’s electricity supply was disrupted. Nonetheless, this act of forcible disconnection of electricity and demand to remove the loudspeaker resulted in the people associated with the Temple lodging a complaint with the police on Friday evening, but the police allegedly made light of the matter.

On Saturday, when some locals felt that the loudspeaker could indeed be removed from the Temple, they decided to seek the help of Hindu organisations. As a result, villagers along with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Jagran Manch activists started protesting at the Ghantagarh square. The protesters also blocked the road.

As the matter started escalating, the Inspector in-charge reached the spot to pacify the protesters. The crowd though demanded a meeting with administrative officers, and the Tehsildar and the Circle Officer rushed to the spot as a result, who then managed to pacify the crowd after 2 hours.

Police is now claiming that they are keeping a vigil on the situation and if someone tries to vitiate the atmosphere, they will act against them. They also claim that the issue is now resolved and there is no dispute over the loudspeaker now.

This isn’t the only time objections have been raised on the use of loudspeakers on Temples. In June 2016, Muslims had objected to a loudspeaker in a Hindu temple present in Jammu’s Jhulas village. According to the report, a group of youths tried to intervene physically to prevent the use of the loudspeaker by temple management.

In April this year, Hindus living in Jogirampura village of Uttar Pradesh had threatened an exodus after the ‘other community’ had objected to the installation of loudspeakers on a Shiv temple for the occasion of Ram Navami.

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